fresh voices from the front lines of change







According to Republicans, President Obama is failing to protect us from terrorism because he refuses to label terrorists organizations like ISIS as perpetrating “radical Islamic terrorism,” preferring to say these terrorists are “perverting Islam.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), for example, says Obama is “an apologist for radical Islamic terrorists.” Other Republicans make the same criticism less hysterically.

Also, Republicans have been telling us that President Obama trampled on the Constitution with his executive action on immigrant deportation relief. House Speaker John Boehner said “the Congress just can’t sit by and let the President defy the Constitution and defy his own oath of office.” And House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said, “the Obama administration is driving full speed ahead to a constitutional crisis [by] threatening to unravel our system of checks and balances.”

Yet when a member of the judicial branch moved to block the implementation the president’s immigration action temporarily, Obama did not defy the Constitution. He did not unravel our system of checks and balances. He accepted the judge’s ruling, postponed implementation and went through the proper channels to pursue an appeal.

Our Republicans, however, do not appear to be satisfied by seeing our system of checks and balances in action.

Instead of allowing the constitutionality of the president’s actions be adjudicated as the Founders intended, Republicans would rather hold the funding of the Department of Homeland Security hostage unless the president capitulates before the judicial branch completes its constitutional role. A few days away from political calamity, some Senate Republicans are prepared to back down, but there’s little evidence House Republicans will cooperate. In all likelihood, we will have to go over another cliff, this time a “security cliff,” before common sense can prevail.

Republicans, who want you to think they take terrorism more seriously than President Obama because they like to say “radical Islam,” are playing games with the money we need to protect ourselves from terrorist attacks (and enforce our immigration laws). Think about that the next time Republicans try to claim they deserve to be the stewards of our national security.

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